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Fast Fashion and Its Bad Reputation

Updated: May 24, 2022

Fast fashion is what seems like a never stopping problem that we have in our society

Arianna Pal, 9F

If you are not familiar with what can be called fast fashion, it is basically brands like Wish, Shein, Romwe (which are also called ultra-fast fashion brands, as bad as it sounds), and so many more that are recognised for their astoundingly low prices.

As a person on a budget or somebody who does not want to spend too much money on clothing in general, a $5 t-shirt would seem a great deal, and you would fill your shopping cart with whatever else your eyes meet. However, despite the prices sounding alluring, fast fashion has been all over the internet due to its bad reputation.

But first, let’s talk about how it started and how it became so bad, so fast. It all started when the sewing machine was invented; thus, clothes became easier and quicker to manufacture. By the 1960s and 70s, trends transformed into a form of personal expression, and young people were all over them; in the late 1990s and 2000s, online shopping took off, and brands like Zara and H&M started to gain fame. With the possibility of creating your own online shop, the phenomenon caught on, and bigger franchises were created.

Nevertheless, fast fashion’s impact on the planet is outstanding. Clothes sold are made of cheap, toxic textile dyes that pollute the world in a way no other industry does. Greenpeace, an international organisation dedicated to heightening environmental awareness through direct confrontations with polluting corporations, has been pressuring fast fashion brands into removing the chemicals they put into their clothing through detoxing fashion campaigns throughout the years.

Fast fashion did not just stop there. Companies started using cheap textiles such as polyester, one of the most popular fabrics. Polyester, known to be derived from fossil fuels, contributes to global warming due to the microfibers it sheds.

How can we stop fast fashion?

As the British designer, Vivienne Westwood said, “buy less, choose well, make it last”. Pick out better quality items, as high-quality items are worn for longer. As an old quote says, “You’re too poor to buy cheap clothing”. Think twice about what you spend your money on, as a cheap and flimsy item might not last as much as a better quality one would.

Try out thrift shops. Thrift shops are a gold mine if you know where to dig. For instance, vintage clothing can be high-quality, but it also comes at great prices if you search for it in different places such as thrift shops and small businesses. Concomitantly, individuals can purchase old but great quality clothing from others selling pieces from their wardrobe that they do not wear anymore. Sometimes, you may also find some treasure at half price than in retail stores.

Flip your clothing! Turn the articles of clothing you find boring into something trendy, something you can see yourself wearing often. Paint a fun design on your t-shirt. Your imagination is your limit.

As a final note, fast fashion has been one of the many reasons for global warming for over 20 years now, which is rather absurd. Together we can realise how many other affordable clothing alternatives there are and start making a move on taking down what seemed like a lifetime of cheap and polluting clothing.

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